Federal Budget 2014-15 No certainty on funding or direction

The Federal Government’s priority to cut the budget deficit will significantly reduce school funding in real terms and create greater uncertainty for schools says Executive Director of Schools, Greg Whitby.

‘Catholic schools need certainty on two key areas: funding and direction,’ said Greg. ‘The Better Schools Plan (Gonski) which had given schools a clear mandate has been abandoned by the Federal government in this budget.’

‘This ‘back to the future’ approach of devolving responsibility to the states and the
constantly shifting educational focus is a distraction to the core work of improving schooling.’

‘If Australia wants to be competitive internationally, we need a coherent, funded national policy framework for schools focused on the areas that makes the greatest difference. We know the focus needs to be on improving the quality of teaching by building professional expertise and practice,’ he said.

‘Cuts to AITSL and ACARA will significantly impact on the ability to deliver a national framework encompassing a national standard for teachers and leaders, and a national curriculum.’

‘As funding will now be linked to the CPI, which is almost half the real cost of school expenditure, there are real concerns for the growing financial burden on families. Government funding for Catholic schools beyond 2017 needs to keep pace with real school costs and we need a clear plan for capital funding given the expected demand for Catholic schools to rise by 350 nationally over the next 10 years.’

‘We are committed to providing affordable, quality Catholic education for the families of western Sydney and will continue to invest our efforts into working with our teachers to improve the learning outcomes of each child in each school.’

Media Enquiries and interview with Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Schools
Julie Fewster m: 0417 532 692 e: jfewster@parra.catholic.edu.au